Valmont Reviews

  • Feb 08, 2019

    Speaking to Ebert around the time of its release, Milos Forman relayed a conversation the director had with his screenwriter, where the latter pointed out that "there is not one thing we have so far in the script that's in the book." Taking the Frears adaptation the year prior as more genuinely adherent to the text, what makes this iteration so much more relevant, alive, and modern---even as it dons the aesthetic style of a conventional period piece, with its slow pacing and austere long shots---is precisely the sense of continuity the film implies between the class system of 1780s and that of the 1980s (a point that only anachronistically can be afforded the French text). If the Frears version ultimately echoes the morality tale melodrama of the original novel, a story where the debauched in the end get their just desserts, then Forman's film shifts the emphasis instead to the political structures underlying social mores, a narrative not about the corruption of the innocent or the redemption of the dissolute, but something closer to a Bildungsroman where the young are instructed in the materialism and wantonness of the world, made to give up romantic idealism for social careerism. Though the pace is slower, the narrative more unwieldy, the characters a bit blurrier, and the lead performances less seductively captivating---albeit with far better turns by the supporting cast, echoing the different focus---VALMONT is the crueler film precisely because it is the colder one, less forgivably modern and so more monstrous in its unflinching presentation of class hierarchy.

    Speaking to Ebert around the time of its release, Milos Forman relayed a conversation the director had with his screenwriter, where the latter pointed out that "there is not one thing we have so far in the script that's in the book." Taking the Frears adaptation the year prior as more genuinely adherent to the text, what makes this iteration so much more relevant, alive, and modern---even as it dons the aesthetic style of a conventional period piece, with its slow pacing and austere long shots---is precisely the sense of continuity the film implies between the class system of 1780s and that of the 1980s (a point that only anachronistically can be afforded the French text). If the Frears version ultimately echoes the morality tale melodrama of the original novel, a story where the debauched in the end get their just desserts, then Forman's film shifts the emphasis instead to the political structures underlying social mores, a narrative not about the corruption of the innocent or the redemption of the dissolute, but something closer to a Bildungsroman where the young are instructed in the materialism and wantonness of the world, made to give up romantic idealism for social careerism. Though the pace is slower, the narrative more unwieldy, the characters a bit blurrier, and the lead performances less seductively captivating---albeit with far better turns by the supporting cast, echoing the different focus---VALMONT is the crueler film precisely because it is the colder one, less forgivably modern and so more monstrous in its unflinching presentation of class hierarchy.

  • May 07, 2017

    Like Jack Clayton's The Great Gatsby, it should be ripped from its literary routes and therefore treated as seperate material. As a film, Milos Forman's Valmont is suspenseful, rewarding, and thoroughly entertaining.

    Like Jack Clayton's The Great Gatsby, it should be ripped from its literary routes and therefore treated as seperate material. As a film, Milos Forman's Valmont is suspenseful, rewarding, and thoroughly entertaining.

  • Nov 09, 2016

    This movie was sad and cruel. I was disgusted by the way two seemingly intelligent adults used children for their entertainment.

    This movie was sad and cruel. I was disgusted by the way two seemingly intelligent adults used children for their entertainment.

  • Mar 14, 2016

    F 8.0 [Milos Forman]

    F 8.0 [Milos Forman]

  • Apr 18, 2015

    Beautiful and well acted drivel.

    Beautiful and well acted drivel.

  • Jan 20, 2015

    Both Stephen Frear's and Milos Forman's versions are good. If there's one main difference that would be the tone of both films. While Frear's movie is more cold, less romantic, with the sense for intrigue and suspense more punctuated, Forman's movie has more sense of humor, and a cheerful tone. The production design is wonderful, and the influence from Kubrick's Barry Lyndon is evident. Colin Firth is fantastic as Valmont, and Annete Bening as the evil Merteuil is charming and poisonous at the same time.

    Both Stephen Frear's and Milos Forman's versions are good. If there's one main difference that would be the tone of both films. While Frear's movie is more cold, less romantic, with the sense for intrigue and suspense more punctuated, Forman's movie has more sense of humor, and a cheerful tone. The production design is wonderful, and the influence from Kubrick's Barry Lyndon is evident. Colin Firth is fantastic as Valmont, and Annete Bening as the evil Merteuil is charming and poisonous at the same time.

  • Feb 21, 2014

    Such a young Colin Firth

    Such a young Colin Firth

  • Feb 17, 2014

    Om Formans filmatisering af Les Liasons Dangereuses er bedre end Frears', er svært at afgøre; de er begge fremragende. Bening og Firth er i topform, og scenografien er ren øjenguf.

    Om Formans filmatisering af Les Liasons Dangereuses er bedre end Frears', er svært at afgøre; de er begge fremragende. Bening og Firth er i topform, og scenografien er ren øjenguf.

  • Feb 11, 2014

    So far, this is my favorite film adaptation of this story.

    So far, this is my favorite film adaptation of this story.

  • Pierluigi P Super Reviewer
    Jan 18, 2014

    As in his mighty "Amadeus", Milos Forman again narrates a picaresque drama within aristocratic circles in this adaptation of "Les Liasons Dangereuses". Less energetic and lush than the one directed by Stephen Frears, even with a younger and fresher, cast. Forman bets for a subtler, classier approach and decides to concentrate solely on the tribulations of the character that names the film, finishing it before other characters' fate come to full circle. In my view, a controversial decision that gives the upper hand to Frears' previously released take on the same story.

    As in his mighty "Amadeus", Milos Forman again narrates a picaresque drama within aristocratic circles in this adaptation of "Les Liasons Dangereuses". Less energetic and lush than the one directed by Stephen Frears, even with a younger and fresher, cast. Forman bets for a subtler, classier approach and decides to concentrate solely on the tribulations of the character that names the film, finishing it before other characters' fate come to full circle. In my view, a controversial decision that gives the upper hand to Frears' previously released take on the same story.